Country Risk

Mass kidnapping of Tunisian nationals highlights high risk of politically, and profit, motivated kidnap in western Libya

16 October 2015


Several dozen Tunisian nationals were kidnapped in several incidents by unidentified militiamen in Libya on 13 October 2015, in response to the arrest three days earlier of a Libyan official in Tunisia.

The militiamen were demanding the release of Hussein al-Zawadi, head of the Sabratha local council, who was arrested on 10 October at Carthage International Airport in Tunis.

One group of Tunisian workers was taken off a Tripoli-bound bus while it was held at a checkpoint near Sabratha. Unconfirmed social media reports indicate that militiamen also went door-to-door in Tripoli searching for Tunisian nationals.

The Tunisian Foreign Ministry said on 13 October that 55 Tunisians had been released.

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